Lewis Hall Cell Lines: Winter 2013
Saint Leo University
A newsletter to promote a scientific community among the alumni of the Saint Leo University biology, environmental science, and medical technology programs, and to foster the professional development of current science majors.
 
IN THIS ISSUE
  of Lewis Hall Cell Lines
  Editor's Welcome
  Alumni Interview: Erica Elwell ’06, Lutz, FL
  Volunteer opportunity on the water with Mangrove Watch
  Alumni Interview: Magda Baksh '08, Carrollwood, FL
  Biology Boot Camp
  More Alumni News
  Photo Feature: Bridge Building Competition
  Department of Mathematics and Science Full-Time Faculty
 
   
  Editor's Welcome
 
Assistant Professor of Physics Dr. Shawn Weatherford
Hello from Lewis Hall, and welcome to the first issue of Lewis Hall Cell Lines, an electronic newsletter specifically for our ever-increasing community of science graduates and graduates-to-be. We hope to bring old friends back together and create new connections through the exchange of fun and interesting developments in the lives of our scientists. Check here for stories on the scientific work now being pursued by your counterparts in the field and at the university. Email us with your stories, and tell Saint Leo friends with new email addresses to get in touch with us, too, so that we may update their contact information. Also, check out the new Facebook page to catch up on the department news and student learning activities that make our biology program unique. And while you're there, be sure to “Like” us!

Best regards,

Dr. Shawn Weatherford
Editor, Assistant Professor of Physics
shawn.weatherford@saintleo.edu

 
 

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  Alumni Interview: Erica Elwell ’06, Lutz, FL
Interviewed by Laboratory Director and Instructor of Biology Linda Bergen-Losee
 
Erica Elwell '06
What field of employment are you in?

I’m a cytogenetic technologist. Currently I work for a private lab in the oncology field, testing bone marrow and blood specimens.

Please tell us some of the non-proprietary details of your current work. Your fellow scientists are interested.

As a cytogenetic technologist I started in a prenatal lab, where I mostly worked with chorionic villi and products of conception samples. My first product of conception was a whole fetus the size of your thumb. It was then I realized how important my job was to provide answers to parents. We would break the specimen down into cells, culture the cells for a few days, fix the cells onto a slide, and band them. Once out of the lab, it’s my job to analyze the chromosomes under a microscope for any abnormalities. The most commonly seen disease prenatally is Down syndrome, which simply has an extra number 21 chromosome. We would see some other micro deletions, which caused a wide range of things from severe to mild mental and physical disabilities and deformation.

Read More

 
 

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  Volunteer opportunity on the water with Mangrove Watch
 
Mangrove Watch
Dr. Bill Ellis is looking for grads who would love a reason to spend a day on the water at spots on the Gulf Coast to record data to measure the health and vitality of the mangrove forests, which can be an important indicator of broader marine health. Through Dr. Ellis’ efforts, Saint Leo is now the U.S. affiliate of an international research project, Mangrove Watch. The project is already up and running in Australia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Saint Leo students have been introduced to the project as well, and the department can use a new boat purchased through the generous assistance of the university administration this fall. (There is even a naming contest; see the Facebook page) But more hands are needed on deck. Dr. Ellis is willing to travel to speak to groups of prospective volunteers, or donors who may be interested in underwriting the purchase of the monitoring equipment packs needed. Dr. Ellis is an associate professor of biology and assistant chair of the Department of Mathematics and Science. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact him via his email address, bill.ellis@saintleo.edu.

 
 

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  Alumni Interview: Magda Baksh ’08, Carrollwood, FL
Interviewed by Laboratory Director and Instructor of Biology Linda Bergen-Losee
 
Magda Baksh '08
What field of employment are you in?

I'm a graduate assistant working on my Master in Public Health degree at the USF College of Public Health.

Please tell us some of the non-proprietary details of your current work. Your fellow scientists are interested.

Currently I do research using the zebrafish embryo as a model for the in vivo study of Bartonella henselae infection and host response.

Read More

 
 

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  Biology Boot Camp
 
Biology Boot Camp
Last year the Biology Program was named the flagship degree program within the School of Arts & Sciences—a recognition of our growing enrollment and the importance of trained scientists to society. That designation gives us the flexibility to work on new outreach programs, such as a Biology Boot Camp launched in August 2012, just before the general freshman orientation. Incoming biology majors participated in classes and study sessions to give them an immediate sense of the academic demands they face, and the tools to meet them. They got to make new friends, participate in fun activities, and meet with former students, too. If you would like to participate next year as a visitor, contact Dr. Bill Ellis at bill.ellis@saintleo.edu.

 
 

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  More Alumni News
 

Lillian Campos Doerfler ’07 is a graduate student at the University of South Florida in Tampa and holds a fellowship from the National Institutes of Health. She was profiled in the 2012 School of Arts & Sciences Dean’s Report.

Send your news to alumni.relations@saintleo.edu.

 
 

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  Photo Feature: Bridge Building Competition
 
Biology Boot Camp

Some of the best moments from our annual popsicle bridge-making and bridge-breaking contests are the reactions on people’s faces as the bridges are destroyed before their very eyes. This is our new assistant professor of engineering, Dr. Thomas Ricard, lending a hand, compared to how he appears on a normal day, teaching engineering or physical science. Engineering is now offered as a minor. The contest draws students from physics and engineering classes.
 
 

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  Department of Mathematics and Science Full-Time Faculty
 
Siamack Bondari
siamack.bondari@saintleo.edu
Department Chair
Professor of Mathematics
Dr. William Ellis bill.ellis@saintleo.edu
Assistant Department Chair
Associate Professor of Biology
Dr. Audrey Shor audrey.shor@saintleo.edu
Assistant Professor of Biology
Advisor for Graduate Programs
and Careers
     
Dr. Jaime Barrera jaime.barrera@saintleo.edu
Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Dr. June Hammond june.hammond@saintleo.edu
Associate Professor of Music
Dr. Richard Sorrentino richard.sorrentino@saintleo.edu
Assistant Professor of Biology
     
Dr. Darin Bell
darin.bell@saintleo.edu
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Dr. Jess Jones jess.jones@saintleo.edu
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Dr. Robin van Tine robin.vantine@saintleo.edu Professor of Biology
     
Ms. Linda Bergen-Losee
linda.bergenlosee@saintleo.edu
Laboratory Director and Instructor
of Biology
Dr. Monika Kiss monika.kiss@saintleo.edu Associate Professor of Mathematics Dr. Shawn Weatherford shawn.weatherford@saintleo.edu
Assistant Professor of Physics
     
Dr. Brian Camp brian.camp@saintleo.edu Assistant Professor of Mathematics Dr. Chris Miller chris.miller@saintleo.edu Associate Professor of Biology
and Environmental Science
Dr. Jacci White jacci.white@saintleo.edu
Professor of Mathematics Assistant Director, Honors Program
     
Dr. Howard Carey howard.carey@saintleo.edu Assistant Professor of Biology
Director of Pre-Health Professions
Dr. Leo Ondrovic leo.ondrovic@saintleo.edu Associate Professor of Biology and Physics Dr. Jerome Williams jerome.williams@saintleo.edu
Associate Professor of Chemistry
     
Dr. Iain Duffy iain.duffy@saintleo.edu
Assistant Professor of Biology
Dr. Thomas Ricard thomas.ricard@saintleo.edu Assistant Professor of Engineering and Physical Science  
 
 

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Lewis Hall Cell Lines is produced with the assistance of the Office of University Communications at Saint Leo University, which can be reached at news@saintleo.edu.
 
     
  Saint Leo University | Lewis Hall Cell Lines Biology Alumni Newsletter | Winter 2013